Fleas and Ticks

Fleas and ticks are common parasites that plague both people and pets. These abundant insects cause painful, irritating bites and both pests can carry and transmit diseases and cause various health issues. Fleas are known to transmit tapeworms, while ticks are known to transmit Lyme disease and Rocky Mountain spotted fever. While fleas and ticks share a lot of similarities, including treatments, they have different appearances, life cycles and habits. The good news is that you can dispose of each of these pests and keep them away by taking a couple of necessary steps. In Texas, the key is to be proactive—don’t wait until the problem becomes more difficult before making a call and looking for the help of licensed pest control specialists. To protect your home or business from fleas and ticks, first learn about these pests, their behaviors, steps for prevention, and contact Stellar Pest & Wildlife should an infestation occur.

What Are Fleas and Ticks?

Fleas and ticks are both tiny insects that survive by attaching themselves to animals and humans, most often in wooded areas. Both pests feed off of blood and can be difficult to notice. Both are parasites, surviving on the blood of their host. However, if you know how to identify and prevent these bugs, you can reduce the chance of them entering your home or business.

How Long Do Fleas and Ticks Live?

If undisturbed and unfed, a flea can live more than 100 days. On average, most fleas live two to three months. Female fleas however cannot lay eggs without consuming their first blood meal and will begin to lay eggs within 48 hours after that meal.

Ticks on average can live up to three years. They survive by attaching themselves to your skin or a pets skin and feeding for several days to two weeks at a time. Once full, they will detach from the skin and start preparing for the next stage of life and the next feeding. If a tick doesn’t find a new host after their last feeding, they may not survive the three years.

How Do I Identify Fleas and Ticks?

Even though fleas and ticks are extremely small, they are two different types of pests. The easiest way to identify them is to know what they look like and how they behave.

Fleas

Fleas average one tenth of an inch in length and are dark brown in color. Fleas are oval shaped and have six legs. They appear to be invisible to the naked eye prior to their adult life stage. Possessing legs that are strong claws, they are able to grip on to their host for days. Fleas are often identified when you see a tiny speck moving through fur or carpeting, In many cases, people do not realize that they have a flea infestation until they or their pets are itching from flea bites.

Ticks

Ticks are all considered to be arachnids. Ticks are flat, oval, and typically come in varying shades of brown before feeding. Once ticks have fed and have become engorged, they become larger, rounder, and often appear to change colors. Ticks attach to your skin with a tube they insert to feed off of your blood and cannot be removed by simply brushing them away. Ticks are a threat to humans because they have the ability to spread serious diseases such as Lyme disease and tularemia.

How Did I Get Fleas or Ticks?

Chances are, you picked up fleas or ticks in a wooded location or from someone else with an infestation. You can also get them from a pet that has been exposed. Every home or business in Texas is a potential environment for these tiny insects.

Fleas

Fleas often become an issue when they attach themselves onto a family pets when they are outdoors. When that pet returns inside fleas will then hide and reproduce in your home, causing an indoor infestation. Fleas will continuously feed on your pets and can even feed on you. This means you will have to both treat your pet and your home.

Ticks

Ticks generally don’t cause indoor infestations. Any pet or person that spends a lot of time outdoors can pick up the occasional tick. Ticks wait for hosts to brush against the grass or bush they are on and they then latch on to their host. Checking your pets and yourself after being outdoors for ticks is very important, since ticks left on the body for more than 24 hours carry a greater chance of spreading disease. People need to be protected and take action against ticks when spending time outdoors, since people are just as susceptible to tick borne diseases as pets are.

How Do I Prevent Fleas and Ticks?

There are a few ways you can prevent a flea infestation or unwanted ticks in your home or business.

If you have pets, preventing fleas starts there. A regular flea treatment is recommended that will get rid of the adult fleas, larvae, and eggs. Because a flea’s life cycle can span more than a month, you will most likely need to treat your pet multiple times to solve the problem. If regular medication doesn’t seem to work or your pet responds badly to the bites or treatment, consider visiting a veterinarian.

Unfortunately, you will also need to vacuum and treat any carpets, upholstery, bedding, and baseboards where the fleas or their larvae could be. Fleas are tiny and can multiply so rapidly, flea infestations can become overwhelming in a matter of weeks. More serious cases will require professional treatment from a pest control expert.

Mowing your lawn and trimming your shrubbery and trees can keep flea and tick populations from exploding. If you have overgrown vegetation near your house or business, cutting it back can help. Maintaining outdoor areas that are clean and free of food also discourages animals from visiting with their fleas as well.

How to Prepare for Our Visit

To prepare for a Stellar Pest and Wildlife’s bed bug treatment of your home or business, you should gather the following information:

* A list of any places that you have seen fleas or ticks in or outside your home or business

* The date that you first started seeing the fleas or ticks

* Whether or not any member of your household has been bitten and in which rooms they sleep along with any pets that have been scratching

* Any wooded places that you or your family members or staff have traveled to within the last few months

In order to prepare your home or business, you should:

* Box up or cover any dishes or utensils in areas that are going to be treated

* Cover or remove all valuable possessions and antiques

* Wash all coverings, clothing, and fabrics and box them up away from the infestation

* Place all toys and dryer safe items in the dryer on a high heat and box them away

You can expect us to enter your home or business on the day of treatment and use a liquid spray treatment that eliminates fleas on contact, on your furniture, mattresses, box springs and any areas needing treatment,

To prepare for our visit, please move all furniture about 2ft from the walls, stand up any mattresses and boxsprings, close any windows, and turn off all A/C and heating units. If you have any items that may be affected by spray, such as electronics, place them in tightly sealed bags. In the case of ticks we will treat the areas of your property where ticks live and breed.

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